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An Introduction to Archeology




How can archeology prove helpful to someone
seeking for truth to the basic questions about life?


The discoveries of archeology can be helpful in removing doubts that a person might have about the historical trustworthiness of the Bible. The miracles described, as well as the spiritual message, must be accepted on faith, which is the basis of our relationship with God. When the truth of Scripture is challenged by skeptics, archaeology can be used to demonstrate that the people, places, and events of the Bible are real.



 Click on the link below that you want to learn about.

1. Archeology Supports the Biblical Description of Edom
2. Archeologist finds 3,000-year old Hebrew text
3. One of the Babylonian Creation Tablets
4. Part of the Gilgamesh Epic
5. The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria
6. High Place of Jeroboam
7. 1,800-YEAR-OLD BATHING POOL
DISCOVERED BENEATH A RITUAL
BATH IN JERUSALEM

8. Discovery: Shoes That the Sons of
Adam or Abraham Would Have Worn

9. Various People In The Bible  


Archeology Supports the Biblical
Description of Edom



Excavations at an Edomite settlement in Southern Jordan at a site known as Khirbat en-Nahas (ruins of copper in Arabic). Here was discovered evidence of extensive "industrial-scale" copper mining and smelting from the 10th and 9th centuries BC. The mine works were scattered over an extensive area. There was excavated twenty feet of layers from occupation of this large settlement over several centuries, finding evidence that "indicates the Edomite society was sufficiently advanced to have posed a threat to the reigns of David and Solomon." The lower levels showed evidence of a comples, organized Edomite state as early as the 12th century BC, putting it well into the period of the Judges. The evidence points to the highest activity during the reign of Solomon, which would be consistent with the biblical statements about Edom. We may be looking at one of King Solomon's mines.



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Archologist finds 3,000-year old Hebrew text

An Israeli archeologist has discovered what he says is the earliest-known Hebrew text, found on a shard of pottery that dates to the time of King David from the Old Testament, about 3,000 years ago.

Professor Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem says the inscribed pottery shard -- known as an ostracon -- was found during excavations of a fortress from the 10th century BC.

Carbon dating of the ostracon, along with pottery analysis, dates the inscription to time of King David, about a millennium earlier than the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, the university said. 





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One of the Babylonian Creation Tablets

Enuma Elishi: This is the Babylonian Creation Record. We also have the
Ebla Creation Tablet.



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Part of the Gilgamesh Epic

Long-living Kings at Kish (Sumer) These kings supposedly lived from 10,000 to 64,000 years ago. The Bible record is conservative and is the true account, while the Babylonian and other traditions have been embellished over time. It was later realized that the Babylonians had two bases for arithmetic calculations, based on either tens or sixties. When the records were retranslated using the system of tens rather than sixties, they came to a total within 200 years of the biblical record. 


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The discovery of the Ebla archive in
Northern Syria

The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name Canaan was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word tehom (the deep) in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. Tehom was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari.



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High Place of Jeroboam

Nearly all archaeologists agree that this excavated podium was the one that Jeroboam constructed to house the golden calf at Dan. Archaeologists now think the platform was roofed. Evidence of a four-horned altar has been found as well as religious objects such as three iron shovels, a small horned altar, and an iron incense holder.



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1,800-YEAR-OLD BATHING POOL DISCOVERED BENEATH A RITUAL BATH IN JERUSALEM



NEW YORK, NY: An 1,800-year-old bathing pool that was probably part of a bathhouse used by the Tenth Legion the Roman soldiers who destroyed the Temple has been exposed in excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Jerusalem. The discovery sheds light on the scope of Aelia Capitolina, the city that was founded on the Second Temple period ruins of Jerusalem and that defined the character of ancient Jerusalem as we know it today.

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Discovery: Shoes That the Sons of Adam or Abraham Would Have Worn



Previously, the oldest known footwear was sandals made from plants found in a cave in Missouri. (Armenia)�The discovery of a 5,500 year old size 4 shoe in the region of the "Cradle of Civilization" has Dr. Ron Pinhasi of University College Cork calling it the "discovery of a lifetime." The shoe, which was found in a cave, was reportedly so well preserved that its lacing is still intact. (Photo: REUTERS)

According to a report in The Daily Mail, the shoe was worn by an early farmer living in the mountains of Vayotz Dzor province of Armenia close to the border of modern-day Turkey and Iran.

Researcher Dr. Gregory Areshian, of the University of California, Los Angeles, said: "We couldn't believe the discovery. The crusts had sealed the artifacts and archaeological deposits and artifacts remained fresh dried, just like they were put in a can."

Interestingly, the article stated that the previous oldest known footwear were sandals made from plants found in a cave in Missouri, dated a few hundred years after the Armenian shoe.



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Various People In The Bible


Person Mentioned
The In Bible

 Date
[Approx Date Of Interest]

Place Where
Mentioned in Bible
  
 Related Archeological Discovery
Eliakim  ca. 598 B.C. 2 Kings 18:18 - Steward (palace administration) of King Jehoiachin; son of Hilkiah  Seal impression on jar handles found at Tell Beit Mirsim reading ABelonging to Eliakim, steward of Yaukin (Jehoiachin). 
Elishama  ca. 598 B.C. Jer. 36:12 - Scribe  Seal impression on bulla from Jerusalem hoard that reads Elishama, servant of the King. 
Jehoiachin  ca. 597 B.C. 2 Kings 24:6 - also called Coniah; 19th ruler of Judah  1. 4 pottery handles stamped with a seal that reads Belonging to Eliakim, steward of Jehoiachin.
 
2. Cuneiform tablets found in Babylon record rations given to Jehoiachin, King of Judah.
 
Gemariah  ca. 593 B.C. Jer. 29:3 - Emissary from Zedekiah to Nebuchadnezzar; Son of Hilkiah  Lachish Ostracon I mentions a �Gemariah son of Hissilyahn. 
Hophra  r. 588-564 B.C. Jer. 44:30 - Pharaoh of Egypt; 4th King of 26th Dynasty; also called Wahibpre or Apries  1. Stele records defeat of Apries by Amasis (in Cairo Museum)

2. Palace found at Memphis

3. Vase has a painting of Apries head and name in hieroglyphics

4. Stele depicts him making offering to gods.

 
Baalis  ca. 586 B.C. Jer. 40:14 - King of the Ammonites  A seal impression found in 1984 at Tel el-Umeiri by the Andrews University excavation team. 
Gedaliah  ca. 586 B.C. 2 Kings 25:22 - Governor of Judah appointed by Nebuchadnezzar; murdered by Jewish royal relatives  Seal impression (bulla) found at Lachish reads Belonging to Gedaliah, who is over the house (Administrator of palace) 
Evil Merodach  r. 562-560 B.C. 2 Kings 25:27-30 - King of Babylon; son of Nebuchadnezzar; also called Amel-Marduk  1. Cuneiform tablet about the family of Nabonidus

2. Cuneiform tablet listing kings
 
Nergalsharezer  Ca. 559-556 B.C. Jer. 39:3 - Called a prince in Babylon; son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar; ruled Babylon after Evil-Merodach.  1. Cuneiform tablets of contracts.

2. Tablets tell that he rebuilt temples.

3. Cuneiform text tells of military campaign into Cilicia.
 
Cyrus II or Cyrus the Great Ruled. ca. 550-529 B.C. 2 Chr. 36:22 - Persian King who founded empire; defeated Babylonians; allowed Jew to go home from captivity.  1. Inscription from Pasargadae saying,  I am Cyrus

2. Nabonidus Chronicle  cuneiform inscription

3. Cyrus cylinder

4. Historical records by Herodotus and Aeschylus

5. Tomb at Pasargadue in SW Iran

Belshazzar  ca. 536 B.C. Daniel 5 - King of Babylon  Cuneiform tablet Yale Babylonian collection 
Darius I Hystaspes or Darius the Great  r. 522-486 B.C. Ezra 4:5 - King of Persia  1. Behistun Rock inscription celebrating his victories over contenders to the throne

2. Copy of Behistun inscription found on papyrus at Elephantine

3. Palace & Audience Hall at Persepolis with numerous reliefs and inscriptions portraying Darius

4. Numerous cuneiform tablets

5. Other papyri found at Elephantine

 
Mordecai  ca. 486 B.C. Est. 2:5 - Gate official in reign of Ahasuerus at Sousa  Undated tablet found at Borsippa speaks of a Mordecai who served in Sousa during Xerxes reign. 
Ahasuerus   Ruled
486-465 B.C.
Esther 1:1 - Ahasuerus is Greek for Xerxes; King in Esther story  1. Audience Hall at Persepolis has relief of Xerxes with father, Darius

2. Palace at Persepolis portrays Xerxes on door.

3. Clay tablet archives chronicle his life.

4. Seals found in Egypt are inscribed Xerxes, the great king.

5. Elephantine papyri dated by his reign.

6. Herodotus histories 

Artaxerxes I, Longimanus   Ruled
ca. 465-423 B.C.
Ezra 4:7 - King of Persia; allowed Jews to return to Israel  1. Tomb of Artaxerxes known near Persepolis

2. Elephantine papyri use dates based on his reign.

3. Herodutus 

Greshem the Arab   ca. 450 B.C. Nehemiah 2:19 - Opposed Nehemiah and building of Jerusalem Temple  1. Silver vessel from shrine at Tell el  Maskhuta with Aramaic inscription stating that it was presented by Cain, son of Geshem, King of Qedar.

2. Lihyanite inscription names Geshem along with the Persian governor of Dedan.
 
Sanballat   ca. 450 B.C. Neh. 2:10 - governor of Samaria who opposed Nehemiah's rebuilding projects  1. Aramaic papyrus from Elephantine refers to Athe sons of Sanballat, governor of Samaria.

2. Scrolls found in Waid Daliyeh refer twice to a Ason of Sanballat  once in a sealing and once in an Aramaic test.
 
Darius the Persian   ca. 424-404 B.C. Neh. 12:22 - King of Persia, Successor of Artaxerxes I  The passover Papyrus found at Elephantine 
Jehohanan   ca. 407 B.C. Ezra 10:6 - Son of Eliashib, the high priest  1. Elephantine papyrus to Biguai, governor of Judah, mentions Johanan, the high priest of Jerusalem. 
Aretas IV   9 B.C. -A.D. 40 2 Cor. 11:32-33 - King at Damascus who arrested Paul  1. Josephus

2. 20 inscriptions use his name & reign for dating.

3. Inscription at Khirbet et Tannur dates setting up of alter to his 2nd year.

4. Inscription at Madeba calls him he who loves his people.

5. Coins with his likeness

 
Archelaus   4 B.C.- A.D. 6 Mat 2:22 - Also called Herod Archelaus; son of Herod the great; ruler of Judea & Samaria during Jesus childhood  1. Contemporary Histories � Dio Cassius

2. Josephus

3. Coins that have inscription Ethrarch or Herod or Ethrarch Herod 

Antipas   C 4 B.C.- A.D. 39 Luke 3:1 - Called Herod the Tetrarch in Bible  1. Josephus

2. Coins carry inscription Herod the Tetrarch

3. Inscription on Bronze Coins, Herod the Tetrarch, To Gaius Caesar Germanicus, AD 43
 
Augustus   ca. 27 B.C.-A.D. 14 Luke 2:2 - Roman emperor during birth of Jesus; full name Gaius Octavius  1. Full biography found in long Greek & Latin inscription in Ankara, Turkey

2. Inscription celebrating his birthday

3. Coins

4. Statuary

5. Contemporary histories

 
Annas   ca. A.D. 26 Luke 3:2 - Jewish High Priest  Josephus 
Caiaphas   A.D. 33 Mt. 26:3 - High priest during time of Jesus  1. Josephus tells us his name was Joseph Caiaphas

2. Ossuary found in Jerusalem in 1990 has Hebrew inscription that reads Joseph, son of Caiaphas.
 
Agrippa I

or Herod Agrippa 

 AD 41-44 Acts 12:1 - called Herod the King; grandson of Herod the Great; King of Judea; Persecuted Christians in Jerusalem  1. Josephus

2. Contemporary Roman records

3. Coins with inscription The Great King Agrippa, Friend of the Caesar

4. Basalt fragment of a Nabatean inscription refers to Agrippa, the King (Could be either I or II)

 
Bernice   ca. A.D. 50 Acts 25:13 - Oldest daughter of Herod Agrippa I; accompanied brother (lover) Agrippa II when Paul appeared before him.  1. Roman records including Suetonius and Dio Cassius

2. Josephus

3. Monumental stone inscription found in Beirut mentions King Agrippa and Bernice.

 
Claudius   A.D. 51-54 Acts 11:28; 18:2 - Roman Emperor; ordered Jews to leave Rome  1. Roman historical records by Suetonias, Orosius, Tacitus and Dio Cassius

2. Coins with his name

3. Statuary

 
Agrippa II   A.D. 56-95 Acts 25:13-26:32 - Son of Agrippa I; ruler of Northern areas of Palestine; Paul appeared before him before going to Rome; Married to Bernice  1. Josephus

2. Contemporary Roman records

3. Coins with likeness & inscription �King Agrippa�

4. Basalt fragment (see Agrippa I above)

5. Monumental stone inscription found in Beirut mention�s Herod Agrippa and Bernice.

Ananias   C A.D. 58 Acts 23:2 - Jewish High Priest who opposed Paul  Josephus 


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